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Running Head: women engineering

Literature Review Women in Engineering


G. Felton McCarty
University of Texas at El Paso

Running Head: women engineering

Abstract
Gender equality is important to achieve and must be achieved through out national interlines.
Companies with higher women equivalence do inherently better than companies without much
diversity. The review focuses on questioning gender diversity in Science Technology
Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), a male dominated work section. Focusing on engineering
which has an even further diversity problem than the others; questions concerning womens
attitudes towards engineering, how to decrease the gap between the two, and women who
contributed in engineering explain culturally what we were at, what we are now and what we are
aiming for in the future. Looking to change the mentality of individuals to help shape the culture
will promote the increase of women numbers in STEM.

Running Head: women engineering

Intro
It is a privilege to be able to study and gain a higher education. This is afforded to many
in powerful counties like United Kingdom, Australia and the United States of America and
Russia to name a few. The men and women of these countries have a choice to elevate
themselves to a higher practice. Some of these studies are placed on the front of the line that
causes all humans to benefit from research and disciplines. Engineering is selected in categories
of development and world discovery adding refinement to all cultures. All benefit from this
enhancement but there are few who pursue it in comparison and even fewer still happen to be
female. A literature review of women in engineering produces questions that lead to the reason
why there is there so few compared to men

What are womens attitudes towards engineering?


What is being done to reduce the gender gap within Science Technology
Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)?
What are some Womens contributions in the past?
These Questions help provide an answer to womens place in our culture now and in the future.
Creating an environment for all to succeed and using this information to prevent problems for
people who wish to join the engineering elite. These questions and an interview of a present day
engineer aspirer should answer the question of the problem now and what should happen in the
future.
What are Womens Attitudes towards Engineering?
It is no longer the 1950s; Women are able to be recognized with prestige awards for their
work but only through pure devotion. Engineering is considered a hard field to get into
considering schooling requirements for degrees and high standards for comprehension. Often
long grueling hours come with the career fields after one goes into their respected profession
related to their degree. Though engineering research and studies may be difficult they are still

Running Head: women engineering

humanly obtainable so women are no less fit than men to do it. Women are not encouraged as
much as men to join fields of science and engineering states Jennifer Hunt (2015), making
women in science and engineering likely to be more positively selected for interest and aptitude
than their male counterparts. Shes clearly shows women are interested but there is a problem
within the engineering community being the exit rates of women. The exit rates of women are
higher than men in science and engineering and seem to be linked because both are male
dominated workforces. Womens attitudes towards engineering change by the midlevel in their
career.
There are advances of technology everyday requiring all in the field to be innovative
while constantly devoting time to create solutions for problems. Stressors like working
conditions, family, promotion, and availability get in the way of every profession. Women and
Men both leave the engineering field due to these and there is a case study by Jennifer Hunts
(2015) showing differences between the reasons related to the degree causing women exit rates
to be higher than professions that are not science or engineering related. Women going for these
highly critical thinking careers must have strong devotion to it considering these fields are male
dominated and unfortunately dont have women in many senior positions if at all. The thought of
not being able to progress and always being stuck at a junior level causes many to leave. Hunt
(2015) finds that women who have gotten their degrees initially have great interest like any other
going into the field. But being left at junior levels often causes women to leave their profession
related to their degrees with higher exit rates then men. Hunt (2015) States large effects of the
male share covariates on leaving a field for pay and promotion opportunities, their inclusion fully
explains the 2.6 percentage point excess exit rate from engineering for this reason. Womens

Running Head: women engineering

concerns about pay and promotion are, therefore, not an engineering-specific issue but, instead,
an issue general to male-dominated fields (pg.200).
It can be seen that people go through changes relationships and hardships in their lives.
Women are no less affected then men in these problems. The surplus of theses exit rates explain a
difference that can close the gap between the problem of womens attitudes changing about the
career they chose for their education and leaving. The statistical significance illuminates a
problem that few are willing to address and correct. The delusion that men are smarter than
women is archaic and no longer relevant when it comes to women performing as well as men.
Apparently there is still biased towards appreciation of women ability to contribute still in
present day culture. This has led to a male dominated workforce with males in senior positions
that have end up leaving no room for women in higher positions, the gap between males and
females causes women eventually leaving the engineering field.
What is happening to close the gender gap?
There are numerous contributions to equating women within Science Technology
Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) career fields. The world recognizes the problem and
there are organizations and a growing movement to increase it. While people address this
problem, there are many adverse thoughts that hinder womens progression that are archaic in
nature and are still in modern culture. Just like there are so many aware of the problem, there are
triple the amount that do not care to change it or have an inclination of inequality. A social
website The Guardian used social media to celebrate Lady Lovelace Day in 2013 asking women
abroad to share their experience being in STEM. They received tweets about women in senior
position doing very well and multiple promoting their general wellbeing and growth being in
STEM agencies companies or research facilities. The site commended those who were

Running Head: women engineering

inspiration from their tweets but there was far too few compared to the mass amounts of women
commenting on the male superiority way of thinking with tweets of abuse, harassment or neglect
using statements like you dont look like an engineer? With a researcher retorting with is it
because of my breast? Social media has an ability to see numerous problems that may not be
reported because of stipulations that are believed to affect womens positions and careers. These
outcries simply show that problems like these are still out there.
Statistics show that women hold only 17% of degrees for positions within STEM and
further still out of engineering 13.5% are held by women throughout the UK/US. (Dunlop 2016)
Its still pretty significant that its less than half of a half. Anabel Dunlap also states that most are
familiar with the scissor graph which is disheartening for any women who plans on making a
career in these fields.
The graph also depicts that the problem is not to spark interest within women about the fields but

to keep women. This is not seen as a problem that cannot be solved; just one thats going to take
years to balance out. Culturally we are evolving to a point where equality can be achieved
however slowly that maybe. Women gaining equality will not be achieved easily but will be
achieved through the advancement of gender diversity.

Running Head: women engineering

New Advancement of studies like DATA Science aim to tackle this problem from the
beginning trying to attack the problem before it repeats itself. Francine D. Berman and Philip E.
Bourne (2015) describe this concept knowing culture change is created by the individual actions
of many. To support the prioritization of gender diversity in data science, changes in
organizational culture are needed to complement individual action. They seek to show that
women will have the opportunity for advancement as equals to men.
What are some Womens contributions in the past?
Womens contributions in the past are well documented and it is self-evident when they
werent properly accredited. All people today are clearly aware that there was a different way of
thinking a hundred years ago. Where as late as the 1970s women might not have been able to
take credit for their work and rather only be acknowledged through their male co-workers or
husbands. Women can see previous womens work that have made way for them; not having to
worry about being unequally acclaimed or eulogized as like women before with in STEM.
Not many women in history have helped design dams, but Edith Clarke (1883-1959) was
at the forefront in bringing sophisticated electrical engineering concepts to dam building in the
western U.S. (Briseno 2016) Mrs. Clark was the first female to have obtained an engineering
degree at MIT, including being another first at becoming a female teacher in the engineering
department at the University of Texas, Austin. (Briseno 2016) People hindered by others often
create a resolve to hone themselves to become recognized even with the bias or injustice holding
them back from acknowledgement. Mrs. Clark paved a scholastic book mark for women that
paved a way for females being able to teach future engineers. She is just one example of women
contributing that even now unless we specifically looking for women in history are not as easily
available to find in our culturally mainstream education. Very few could give you names of

Running Head: women engineering

engineers or inventers and even fewer still would even be able to recall women. Having more
women find their way into this study will simply equate to more women names that will create
future findings. Looking to never have a repeat of Lise Meitner her practice was physics but like
all STEM practices success in one gave way to other women simply being recognized for their
work later. Several accounts say Meitner understood this omission, given the situation in Nazi
Germany states (Lee 2013). Her background of contributing to splitting the atom, the atom
bomb, and nuclear fission was casted aside and unwritten in history texts because of the then
male superiority mentality.
Women today are fortunate for those who have fought for so much in the past. Other
women such as Rosalind Franklin, Esther Lederberg, and Chien-Shiung Wu who had their work
snubbed can now be eulogized properly. These women give light to new aspiring engineers.
female scholars have no problem finding a job with in these studies. It can be said that there are
role models for women to look up to its just a lacking amount. The movement for womens equal
rights has been going on for quite some time and women in STEM who lack in numbers will be
met with an increased number of scholars that also increase every year.
Aspiring Engineer
Women are clearly needed in these career fields emphasizing the much needed role
models for future women engineers to look up to. There is immense confidence to be gained
when seeing success from others. It adds to an individuals encouragement when they are able to
see themselves in a future position. This factor is not particularly present for women especially at
a younger age that may influence them early. There are women in leading positions but reflecting
on the number of female engineers before, if there were more women in senior or head positions

Running Head: women engineering

promoting their excellence it would further close the gap that this workforce is currently plagued
with for the future.
Looking into present day situations an interview is conducted on an aspiring engineer
Lupita Chavarria currently studying for electrical engineering, March, 2016
Ms. Chavarria was initially asked does she feel any less prepared than her male counterparts
while studying at the University of Texas at El Paso. She quickly replied no and when asked was
she encouraged by those around her in her choice she described her friends do encourage her.
Leading the interview to if she had the same support at home with family. Ms. Chavarria goes on
to describe her family supports her even if she changed her major and she is just encouraged to
finish what she wants. It was clear in the interview that she had plenty of faith from all her loved
ones backing her to face the challenge of a difficult study. The interview turned to why she chose
electrical engineering.
Ms. Chavarria is asked what some of her inspirations were when she chose this study.
She began claiming her dealing with technology was a major contributor when she was young
having natural interest. Then asked was there a person or role model that happened to inspire
you. She admitted that seeing Cecilia Sanchez, women she now has admiration for, interact with
her and her school greatly influenced her on wanting to pursue engineering in general. She is still
acquainted with Mrs. Sanchez giving her a solid aspiration not only to achieve what Mrs.
Sanchez has but ultimately surpass her in the future. Ms. Chavarrias reaction and responses
show she is not necessarily affected personally by the constraints that have been on women
before with education. The sexism that is seen may never be eradicated, but the improvement
is also evident.

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References
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Berman, F. D., & Bourne, P. E. (2015). Lets Make Gender Diversity in Data Science a Priority
Right from the Start. PLoS Biology,13(7), e1002206.
http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1002206
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4516301/
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Felder, R.M., Felder, G.N., Dietz, E.J. (2002). The Effects Of Personality Type On Engineering
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Fouad, N.A., Singh, R., Fitzpatrick, M.E., Liu, J.P. (2012). Steaming the tide: Why Women
Leave Engineering. Retrieved from
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